Select songs for this chapter:
Lost In Paradise- Evanescence- Arthur's perspective
Skyfall- Adele- Readers perspective
Lovesong- Adele- Readers and Arthur's perspective
"The Cap'n's returning!" Gibbons shouted as he saw Arthur, Antonio, Gilbert and Francis in the distance, making their way back with the rest of the crew that had been with them. Mathieu. Peter and yourself leaned over the railing to watch them as they came closer.
"We caught him! We caught him! Look!" Peter said as he tugging on your arm, pointing in the direction of where Cruz was still struggling in the net that was being carried by some of Arthur's men. You smirked in triumph as you took a step back, quickly ascending the stairs to the quarter deck and projected your voice so it was loud enough for all to hear.
"LETS HEAR IT FOR THE CAPTAIN!" you shouted, prompting the entire crew to give shouts of cheering and 'hoorah's". By the time Arthur had reached his ship the entire crew were shouting in unison and applauding for their Captain. An excitement among the whole ship. Though no one was as excited or relieved as you were and who would blame you? After all you had been through that day. All the troubles, all the anxiety. No one was as relieved as you were. Though Arthur's feelings were mutual, if not exceeding yours.
"Welcome aboard Cap'n!" Gibbons said while bowing his head in respect as Arthur took a step onto his ship. Arthur let a small smile grace his face as he tipped his hat to Gibbons.
"Good work in my absence mate." he said as he sidestepped to allow his men to bring their catch aboard.
"We caught ourselves a little rat in the meantime." Arthur said as Cruz's net passed by, causing Gibbons and the entire crew to snicker.
"Aye. That's a fat rat ye got there cap'n." Gibbons said, kicking the net as it passed by, catching Cruz in the ribs. Cruz grunted and shouted profanity at Gibbons' careless foot placement. Arthur chuckled at this and turned to Francis, speaking briefly with him.
Peter stuck his tongue out as the men walked by carrying Cruz.
"Seaweed head!" he called out, making a face in Cruz's direction. Cruz snarled and looked the other way, far too irritated to say any more.
"That'll teach you to mess with my brother!" Peter said as Cruz was lowered down into the ship. You chuckled and placed a hand on Peter's shoulder.
"I don't think we have to worry about him anymore Pete." you said, smiling down at him. He smiled as he looked up at you, then switched his gaze to Mathieu.
"We did it. We all did." he said, looking back up at you. You looked over to Mathieu and smiled.
"We certainly did." you said, looking over to your left to see Francis approaching the three of you. Mathieu rushed past you and Peter to embrace his brother, who embraced him with happiest look you had ever seen on his face. It brought a smile to your own to see them both so happy. You took Arthur's hat off of your head and handed it to Peter.
"Here, go put this on the Captains desk." you said, still watching Mathieu and Francis' touching moment together. It reminded you of your brothers and yourself, which also reminded you of how much you missed them. You unconsciously grabbed the chain around your neck and began to gently rub the metal between your fingers. It seemed to calm you down a bit. When Peter left to do what you asked of him, Francis looked up and smiled at you. As he let go of Mathieu he approached you slowly, bowing once he was close enough.
"Merci Mademoiselle." he said, standing upright and taking your right hand into his own and placing a gentle kiss of gratitude on your knuckles.
"I will never be able to thank you enough for what you 'ave done for me."
You gave him a kind smile and shrugged slightly.
"I promised I'd help you find him, didn't I-?" you began to say but were cut off by someone slamming into you and crushing you with a strong hug.
"Its good to shee you again frau!" said a loud and obnoxious Prussian who was oblivious to his own strength. You were left gasping for air like a fish out of water.
"Can't…..breath!" you wheezed out. But he didn't seem to notice and picked you up off the ground, spinning you around. Gilbert stopped his little embrace when he felt a hand clamp onto his shoulder.
"Come on amigo. The chica can't breath." Antonio said, saving you from becoming a deflated balloon.
"Oh alright fine!" Gilbert pouted, letting you go from his vice like grip. You took in a deep breath once you were free. Gilbert rubbed the back of his neck in embarrassment.
"Heh heh…shorry about zat frau." he said. You nodded as you continued to catch your breath. Antonio chuckled and took your right hand, also placing a kiss on top of your knuckles as Francis had done not too long ago.
"Gracias Senorita for your assistance." he said smoothly, but you were too dazed from almost being crushed to really pay attention to what he was saying. And you didn't have time to either because you were scooped up from behind and placed on someone's shoulders.
"The lass is back lads!!" Ian shouted as he balanced you on his broad shoulders. You flailed a bit and grabbed onto Ian's head for support. He chuckled as a shout of applause began, you felt yourself blush from embarrassment. You were quite literally getting a standing ovation. Looking around you spotted Arthur who was also clapping. He gave you a nod of approval as if to say:
You smiled and began to laugh as everyone crowded around you.
"Now now everyone!" Arthur said in a raised voice so he could be heard by everyone. Everyone turned in Arthur's direction.
"I believe we all still have a ship to raid do we not?" he said with a smirk plastered on his face. The crew erupted with a shout of "AYE!"
"Well what are you waiting for?" he said.
They immediately started running to their positions to steer the ship back towards Cruz's ship. Ian set you back down on your feet and patted you on the shoulder.
"Well done lass. I knew ye had it in ye!" he said before jogging over to his position. Antonio shouted out to his men from across the way to do the same with their ship.
It was then, as everyone started running around that you realized something.
"My time's almost up." you muttered to yourself, feeling in somewhat of a daze as people hurried past you. You knew that you wouldn't always be here. You knew that at some point you would have to leave, and in that process leave all of this and everyone in it behind. It was a profound moment for you, you felt as if your legs were made of lead and you couldn't move. A sudden voice calling your name brought you to the present.
"(Name)?" Arthur said again, a concerned look on his features. You blinked a few times and shook your head slightly.
"Huh? What?" you said, drawing your attention to the man in front of you.
"I said are you alright, love?" he asked again, slight worry in his voice.
"Oh!" you said, laughing slightly. "I-I'm fine…just…thinking." you gave him a sheepish smile.
"Are you sure?" he asked, seeming skeptical in your explanation. You nodded again.
"Of course I'm sure! N-Never been better." you said, in a less then convincing voice. Arthur opened his mouth to say something but was interrupted by someone calling for him.
"Captain! Yer needed at the helm!" one of the crew members shouted. Arthur nodded at them and turned his attention back to you for a few moments before brushing past you on his way to the quarter deck. Everything at this point felt so strange, almost as if you were neither here nor there. Nothing really made sense at this point.
You pretty much stayed out of the whole 'raiding Cruz's ship' part. The time you had spent on his ship was more then enough for you, also you didn't want to be around when they found the rest of Cruz's men. The whole thing just didn't seem appealing to you. You at least hoped that they were merciful toward them. So you sat leaning against the mast, watching as Arthur's and Antonio's crew took everything they could from Cruz's ship. Which was sandwiched in between Arthur's and Antonio's frigates. As you sat there with your arms hanging over your knees and fiddling with your fingers, you tuned out all the surrounding noises as you thought about all you had been through these past three and a half weeks. How much you've done, people you've met, sticky situations you've gotten out of…or almost didn't.
You sighed heavily as you remembered everything you've been through up till this point. Somehow you knew that this whole experience would change the person you use to be. Change your perspective and your future. And how could it be any different? You now fully understood why Alfred told you not to get too involved. It wasn't just because it could change history, but it could also change a person. In a way…it almost scared you.
You bit your bottom lip at the mere thought, it gave you an uneasy feeling in the pit of your stomach.
"Why do these things always happen to me?" you thought to yourself as Arthur's crew loaded more and more loot onto the ship. You looked over and spotted some of Antonio's men carrying that giant chest you had seen before in Cruz's cabin. The one that was filled to the brim, if not overflowing, with treasure.
'What will happen when I go back?' you wondered, pondering what the crew would think when you were suddenly gone. It made your head hurt thinking about it. A groan escaped your lips slightly as you held your head in an attempt to make yourself feel better.
"Are you alright Mademoiselle?" a familiar, soft voice asked. You lifted your head to see Mathieu standing in front of you, his arms full of bottles. You forced a smile onto your face so he wouldn't worry.
"I'm fine…just tired is all." you said, which was true considering all you had been through that day and on only a handful hours of sleep. He nodded and smiled sadly at you.
"Perhaps you should go lie down and rest?" he suggested as he adjusted his arms to get a better hold on the bottles. You thought about it for a moment and shrugged your shoulders finally.
"Why not." you said, slowly rising to your feet. "Don't really have anything else to do."
Mathieu smiled at you.
"Good. Don't you worry about a thing. Everything will be taken care of." he said as you passed him by. You nodded and waved a lazy hand at him.
"Yeah…thanks." you said before trudging off to Arthur's Cabin. Once you got there you felt instantly exhausted, like a wave of lethargy swept over you and sapped any remaining energy you had.
"Woah!" you said as you grabbed your head. "I must be more tired then I thought."
You looked down at yourself and realized that your clothes were still damp from the day's escapades. You pouted slightly at this, wet jeans were very uncomfortable after all. You unzipped your sweatshirt and tossed it on the couch carelessly. You were about to do the same with yourself but stopped and looked over at Arthur's bed. It looked sooo much more comfortable then the couch at this point.
'He can just deal with damp blankets for a while.' you concluded as you trudged over to his bed, sinking into it as you sat down. You untied your shoes and peeled your socks off, setting them inside your shoes to dry. As you laid on your side and closed your eyes you felt somewhat accomplished, yet at the same time extremely sad too. It happened so suddenly that you couldn't stop it. Tears trickled down your face as you silently cried for reasons that you weren't sure why. All you knew was that leaving this place was going to be one of the hardest things you have ever done so far in your life.
"Well I believe that's everything then." Arthur said, extending his hand out to Antonio, wanting to at least be civil to him. He did after all help him in this whole ordeal. Antonio smiled at him, taking his hand in his own and giving it a firm shake.
"Si. Its been fun amigo." he said, taking his hand back. Arthur looked over to Gilbert and gave him a nod.
"Gilbert." he said. Gilbert gave Arthur a cocky smirk that he was famous for.
"Come on. Shay it. I'm awesome!" he said, puffing his chest out like a bullfrog. Arthur rolled his eyes a bit before returning his attention back to Antonio.
"I suppose this means were enemies again." he said, giving Antonio a serious look, to which Antonio chuckled and scratched his chin in thought.
"Well…working with you was not as bad as I thought it would be. I suppose we can be at each others disposal when needed?" he suggested. Arthur let a smirk cross his split lips.
"We'll still be rivals though?" he asked. Antonio laughed heartily.
"I would have it no other way amigo." he said, taking a step back.
"I hear those new colonies across the ocean are loaded with gold and such. Gilbert?" he asked, turning his head to his Prussian friend.
"Ya?" he asked.
'What was that one new colony called again?" he asked.
"Virginia I think." Gilbert said.
"Perhaps We'll see you around those part's then." Antonio said before bidding Arthur and Francis farewell, Gilbert following close behind Antonio.
"What kind of a name is Virginia anyway?" Francis said, yawning a bit. Arthur chuckled a bit.
"Oh I don't know…sounds promising to me." he said. Francis chuckled a bit.
"Well I believe we still 'ave some trash to dispose of before we go gallivanting off again." Francis said, hinting at the Cuban captain down in the brig.
"Yes…" Arthur said, trailing off a bit. He took a step back and began to head down toward the brig. There were still some unanswered questions he wanted answered. As he passed through the now well stocked cargo haul and descended down the flight of stairs he could feel adrenaline rush through his veins. More out of anger then anything. As he approached the large door and pulled the set of keys out of his pocket quickly, he tried calming himself down a bit.
'Don't let him upset you.' he told himself as he opened the door to the brig. Cruz lifted his head when he heard the door to the brig being opened. He cocked an eyebrow as he saw Arthur approaching his cell.
"And to what do I owe the pleasure?" he asked, curious as to why Arthur was down here with him. As Arthur approached closer he could feel the grin spreading across Cruz's mouth.
"How does it feel Arthur?" he asked slowly. Arthur furrowed his large brows at the Cuban.
"Excuse me?" he asked, unsure of what Cruz was asking him.
"Chu heard me. How does it feel to have everything you wanted?" he said as Arthur took slow steps toward his cell.
"The glory of a Captain. Chour enemy captured…to have chour girl back."
Arthur stopped in front of Cruz's cell, a gentle light only partially illuminating his face. Cruz could see some sadness and anger mixed in Arthur's emotions, a small smile spread across his face.
"Perhaps chu don't have all of those things. Si?" he asked, chuckling softly. He could practically feel Arthur's pulse quickening its pace.
"Well…chu can't have it all. Unlike me." he said, eyeing Arthur in a smug way. Arthur's jaw tightened a bit.
"And what is that suppose to mean?" he asked in a tense voice. Cruz laughed lightly, leaning his head back against the cold wooden walls.
"I had it all chu know Arthur." he said, giving Arthur a careless look.
"I had the glory." he said as Arthur took in a steady breath.
"I had my enemies captured." Arthur narrowed his eyes as a smirk crossed Cruz's face.
"And I had chour girl."
"Lies!" Arthur hissed, feeling his blood boiling at the thought of Cruz…and you…
"I'll tell chu this much." he said, leaning forward with a smug look on his face.
"She enjoyed her time with me."
Cruz laughed as Arthur stood there, fuming in front of his with his fists clenched. The Brit reached into Cruz's cell quickly and grabbed him by his shirt, jerking him forward until his head collided with the cell bars. Cruz yelled in pain as he was let go, grabbing his head from the sudden pain Arthur had inflicted on him. Arthur's eyes gleamed with anger as he watched the Cuba hiss in pain.
"When you finally arrive to your permanent destination, I will make sure the magistrate gives you a punishment tantamount to the years of torment you've put me through." he said in a sharp yet heavy voice. "Make no mistake. Your punishment with be of the highest severity."
Arthur turned on heal and left the Cuban to ponder the words he had spoken to him and to ponder the new bruise that was sure to be left as well.
You weren't sure how long you had been asleep for but by the time you had opened your eyes it was already night fall. You blinked a few times and rubbed your eyes as you sat up. The cabin was lit but you were the only one inside at the moment.
'That's weird…' you thought as you slowly sat up. You sighed a bit as you finally started to wake up. Your clothes were still damp but not as much as they were before. Though you refused to put your shoes back on until they were dry. You swung your legs over the side of the bed and stood up, stretching as you did. You yawned and looked around.
"Hello?" you asked, just to see if someone was in the room. When you heard no response you decided to leave the cabin and go looking. But you stopped when you saw Arthur's hat still on his desk.
"That's weird." you said, approaching the desk with your eyebrows scrunched together in confusion. You picked up his hat and looked at it.
"I thought he would have picked this up by now."
Figuring that he just couldn't find it you decided to bring it to him. So, turning on heal, you walked over to the door and opening it with a gently creak.
You stepped out and closed the door behind you. The cold wood beneath your bare feet made you shiver a bit, covering your skin with goose bumps, but you continued on anyway. Once you were out in the open you decided to scan the deck.
You saw Arthur standing by the rail, resting his elbows loosely on the railing. He looked as if he were in deep thought. But the fact that his head was slightly down gave you a sense that he was upset about something. You knew immediately what that something most likely was. So you slowly and quietly approached him, your feet gently padding against the deck. Keeping his hat behind your back you approached him with a sway in your step, gently approaching his left and looking out at the ocean.
"I spy with my little eye-" you began, looking over to him "Someone depressed."
You leaned on the railing with your back against it, trying to look at Arthur's face as best as you could.
"What's the matter Captain?" you asked, an expression of softness evident on your features. Arthur sighed, not meeting your gaze. You pursed your lips and pulled his hat out from behind your back.
"I believe this is yours?" you said, cocking an eyebrow at him. He silently shook his head slightly.
"I don't deserve to wear that hat." he muttered sadly. You furrowed your brows and let your arm drop.
"What are you talking about?" you asked, determined to get to the bottom of his troubles. He sighed as he looked out to the icy waters ahead.
"Only a real Captain deserves to wear such decorations." he said, closing his eyes and slowly looking down. You looked at him sadly and gently grabbed his upper arm.
"You are a real Captain." you said, placing the hat on top of his head.
"Now soak in the glory!" you said, hoping to get at least a smile from him. But you did not receive the reaction you were hoping for. In fact you got no reaction.
"I'll never be the man my father was." he said sadly, eyes still closed. You let go of his arm and leaned your elbows on the railing, looking out at the sea.
"Well…you can't be exactly the same man your father was because you and he are two different people." you said, looking at Arthur from the corner of your eye. He sighed and looked out to the vast sea ahead of the ship.
"When I was younger I had always dreamt about being just like my father. I expected myself to be as strong as he was, to be a commodore like he was and to have a happy family life like he had." he said as you continued to listen to him. "But look at me now."
You slowly faced him just as he too slowly looked in your direction.
"I am none of those things. I'm alone. I've become the very thing my father detested and I can't even kill the very man that has made my life this way."
There was a silence between the two of you as you looked at each other, the wind gently blowing past the two of you.
"Arthur…" you said finally, breaking the awkward tension between the two of you.
"Don't think like that."
Arthur looked away from you, breaking eye contact in his despair.
"Maybe he was right after all…" he said in a low mutter. You knew he was referring to Cruz, which upset you.
"Hey!" you said in a firm voice, grabbing his attention to look in your direction.
"What he said about your father was a lie and you know it." you said in a stern voice. Arthur looked down at his hands in slight shame. You sighed and scratched your forehead in slight frustration. You gave him a gentle look and placed a hand on his forearm.
"If your father was anything like you." you began "Then he had to have been the bravest man alive."
"I'm not brave…I can't even take a life anymore." he said, looking in your direction with a look of slight irritation.
"And its all your fault."
You raised an eye brow and placed a hand on your hip.
"Excuse me? How is that my fault-?" you began to say but were cut off by Arthur.
"-Because of what you said before!" he said in a raised voice. You gave him a confused look which caused him to sigh heavily and look back down at his hands.
"I remembered what you had spoken to me a few weeks back…when you told me how I shouldn't hate Cruz even after all he's done…how if I did I'd be no better then he."
Your eyes widened in shock, surprised that he'd even remember you saying that. You barely remembered saying that!
"As I stood there with my sword pointed to his black beating heart…I was so ready to do him in." he said, shutting his eyes tightly as he clenched his fists forcefully, so much so that you could hear his leather gloves creaking from the pressure.
"But then your words came flooding into my mind…preventing me from…from…."
He opened his eyes and looked at you, an unreadable expression in his eyes.
"What have you done to me?" he asked in a whisper. You took in a deep breath and sighed quietly, giving him a sympathetic look.
"I haven't done anything to you…and as far as I'm concerned you've done everything you wanted to do. And I'm proud of you for that." you said, giving him a gentle smile.
"You almost died because of my foolishness." he said, a bit forceful with his words. You could tell he was hurt by this.
"But I didn't die. I'm right here" you said. He sighed and looked away from you once more. You decided it would be best to give him some time alone. So you gently backed away from him and began to head toward the galley. You hadn't eaten all day and were starving to say the least. But you stopped halfway and turned back around to Arthur.
"Arthur." you said in a gentle voice, causing him to look over his shoulder slightly.
"Thank you. What you did today was beyond brave…and I know that your father would be very proud of you."
With that said you left Arthur alone with his thoughts, hoping that whatever you said brought him some encouragement.
"Lass!" Gibbons said as he saw you coming down the stairs. You smiled at him and waved.
"Hey Gibbons. Do you have anything to eat around here?" you said. Your stomach growled very loudly right after you had spoken. Gibbons chuckled and shook his head a bit.
"I take it the lass is hungry? Well, not to worry. I saved ye a big portion from dinner for when ye were ready to come down an' eat." he said, grabbing a bowl from under the counter. You skipped happily over to the closest table and sat down, drumming your fingers against the chipped wood. As Gibbons ladled your dinner into the bowl you decided to make small talk.
"How was everything while I was gone?" you asked. Gibbons stopped ladling the food and sighed a bit as he walked over to your table, setting the bowl down in front of you and taking a seat across from you.
"Not the same lass." he said as he handed you a spoon.
"How so?" you asked as you reached across and took the spoon from Gibbons.
"Everythin' just felt…dead." he said as you spooned some soup into your mouth. You furrowed your brows, letting him know that you were confused. He scratched his chin and thought for a moment.
"When yer around…things just seem more lively." he said. "So when ye were gone things were a right mess."
"Oh." you said, swallowing the lump of food in your mouth. "I hope nobody was too worried about me."
"That would be an understatement lass." Gibbons said, giving you a half smile.
"Gibbons." you said.
"Quit making me feel guilty!" you said in a teasing manner, earning a chuckle from the jolly man in front of you.
"I don' mean to make ye feel guilty lass. Just statin' the truth is all." he said as he stood up and walked over to the pantry to grab something.
"Well…you know…I wont always be here." you said absentmindedly as you played with the food in your bowl. There was a long moment of silence before Gibbons spoke again.
"I know lass…t'will be a sad day when that happens." he said, coming out of the pantry with a bag of flour. You looked up from your bowl and gave him a lopsided smile.
"I can't stay here forever you know." you said as he started pouring some flour into a bowl.
"Aye lass." he said as he set the bag down. "I know…all good things must come to an end at some point."
He stood upright and looked over at you.
"I don' know where you'll be going from here lass. But what ever ye do with yer life and wherever ye go…just be careful, alright?" he said, giving you a fatherly look. You smiled sweetly back at him and stood up, rushing over to him and hugging him tightly.
"You make me feel sad when you say those kinds of things you know!" you said. Gibbons hugged you back gently and smiled, patting you on the head.
"I know lass…I know."
Once you had your fill of dinner and felt sufficiently stuffed to the brim, you decided to head back to the Captains quarters to just sit and think. After all, with only a few days left until the full moon, you had a lot on your mind. Many sad things and yet happy memories too. You just hoped that by this time Arthur would be feeling better, the last thing you wanted was to try to comfort him when you were the one needing comforting. When you entered the room you were surprised to find Arthur standing by the large window, looking out of it as if deep in thought again. Only this time his demeanor made you believe that he wasn't thinking about something sad. He turned around when he heard the sound of his door being opened. You gave him a small smile as you closed the door behind you.
"Feeling better?" you asked. He returned your small smile with one of his own, including a nod to go along with it.
"Yes…much better." he said, telling a half truth. It was good enough for you though. Now that you had a good look at him in the lighting you saw his lip split, remembering when he took a hit to the face from Cruz earlier that day. You smiled at him sadly and approached him slowly, shaking your head slightly.
"What am I going to do with you?" you said. He looked at you in a confused way, unsure what you were apologizing for.
"W-What?" he asked, a bit flustered at your choice of words. You gave him a half smile and gently touched his chin, grazing his lip with your index finger. He hissed slightly at the touch, causing you to retract your hand.
"This is the second time you've split your lip in one week." you said as you cracked a smile. He chuckled slightly as you lowered your hand.
"Its nothing. Its barely even noticeable." he said as you took a step back, seeing a bruise start to form around the area where he had been hit.
"I'm sorry." you said quietly while giving him a sad look. He removed his hat from his head and sat it down on the desk, never breaking eye contact with you.
"Why are you apologizing? You have nothing to be sorry about." he said.
"I…I didn't mean for you or anyone to get hurt." you said, fiddling with your hands. He let out a soft chuckle and shook his head gently.
"It was unavoidable. No harm done." he said. Suddenly he snapped his fingers and a look of remembrance came over him.
"Oh. That reminds me." he said, reaching into the pocket of his crimson coat.
"I believe this belongs to you." Pulling something out from his pocket, he handed you an object that you thought you had lost earlier that morning.
"My phone?!" you asked in disbelief, looking up at Arthur with your mouth slightly open.
"But how did-?"
"-I found it on Cruz's ship as we were raiding…it must have fallen out of your pocket while you were escaping." he said, handing the phone to you. You took it gratefully, a smile spreading wide across your face.
"Thank you so much! I thought I had lost it." you said, walking over to your sweatshirt, which was still draped over the couch, and placed it back in your pocket. He watched as you sat down.
"What happened to Antonio and the rest of them?" you asked after a moment of silence, looking up from your spot on the couch. Arthur cleared his throat and walked slowly to the front of his desk, stopping in front of it.
"They left after they cleaned out Cruz's ship. I hear their headed west toward a settlement called 'Virginia.'" he said. You cracked a smile and looked down at your hands. Suddenly a sad thought came to mind.
"Oh really?" you asked, looking up at Arthur slowly.
"What about the rest of Cruz's crew? What happened to them?" you asked, a little nervous as to the answer you would receive. Arthur gave you a reassuring look.
"Antonio took them with him. Part of Cruz's crew were kidnapped men from Antonio's older fleet anyway." he said, easing your worries. You brought a hand to your chest in relief.
"Well that's good to know. I don't think they liked Cruz very much anyway." you said giggling a bit.
'She looks so beautiful when she smiles…' Arthur thought to himself, causing himself to blush slightly from embarrassment of his thoughts.
"Um…(Name)?" he asked in an uncertain voice. You looked up from your place on the couch and saw that he appeared to be wanting to ask you something. Something that, guessing from the look on his face, was important.
"Yeah?….Is something wrong?" you asked, furrowing your brows a bit. He looked away for a moment before gazing back at you again, still seeming uncertain.
"I…I wanted to ask you something. And I want you to be nothing but honest with me." he said, a serious look in his eyes yet at the same time there was also vulnerability in there too. As if he were thinking of all the negative and hurtful responses he might get for asking what he wanted to ask. You slowly nodded, indicating that you understood and would gladly oblige. He took in a deep breath to calm his nerves.
'Come now…just ask her. The worst she could do is reject you and then if that is the case then at least you'll finally know. You need to inquire about this… ask her you twat!' he thought to himself, mustering up every ounce of courage he had in himself.
"(Name)." he said as steadily as he could, hoping that his voice would stay strong and work with him rather then against him.
"Yes?" you said, giving him your full attention. Arthur could feel a lump rising in his throat as his anxiety shot up a few notches.
"I…I was w-wonder, that is if you would be willing…to…" he started to say, losing his voice a bit as he tried to force the words out of his now parched mouth. You folded your hands in your lap and tilted your head to the side a bit.
"Yes?" you asked gently, trying to make him feel more comfortable. What you didn't realize is that your current actions were actually making it all the more difficult for him to speak.
'Why is this so difficult?!' Arthur wondered, feeling his palms sweating from his wracked nerves.
"If you'd be willing to…..to tell me…." he said again, noticing a weakening sensation in his knees. These symptoms were so strange and new to him. Never in his entire life, not even when in battle with an adversary, did he ever feel the amount of pressure and jitters then he did right now. And all you were doing was sitting there, looking at him. Not threatening him nor engaging in a fight with him, but simply remaining quiet as you waited for him to speak. He had absolutely no idea why your silence was killing his nerves. Arthur knew that he had fallen for you quite some time ago, but he just now realized how difficult asking you a certain question would be.
"Tell you what?" you asked, slightly confused by Arthur's body language. Arthur felt all of his courage slip away from him, as if someone had tapped into it and drained him instantly until he was like an empty well. He took in a deep breath….
"…If…that is…I wanted to know…I wanted to know if at anytime on Cruz's ship…did he hurt you?" he asked, completely diverting from his original question and replacing it with another. You raises your brows in slight surprise. You looked off to the side and thought for a moment before speaking.
"No, not really." you said in a quiet voice. Arthur seemed slightly unconvinced and concerned too.
"Are you sure? Don't be afraid to tell me. Did he…did he-?"
"-No Arthur. He didn't touch me." you said, already knowing what he was implying. Granted, Cruz had slightly suggested that he could harm you in that way. But you were smart enough to know that no man wants to even try 'that' with a crazy woman. It makes them feel very uncomfortable and you used that to your advantage. Your response seemed to relieve Arthur greatly, though you weren't sure why he seemed so relieved.
"O-Oh…w-well that's good. Rest assured if he did he would be punished severely." he said in a protective way. It made you smile a bit.
"That's sweet of you." you said, giving him a kind look.
There was a long pause of silence between the two of you, neither of you uttered a word to each other. It was one of those awkward moments that you thought only existed in those cheesy teen flicks. You suddenly felt this funny feeling in your stomach, almost like a flutter, and the way Arthur was looking at you…if you didn't know any better you'd say you saw something in his eyes…almost like he….
Arthur cleared his throat, clearly in discomfort of the current atmosphere as he pulled his collar away from his neck slightly.
"T-Thank you." he said. You held your hands together and began to twiddle your thumbs together. The tension in the air was so thick that you could cut it with a knife and serve it with a slice of bread.
"W-Well its getting late and I'm sure were both quite exhausted from the day's activities. I suggest we turn in for the night and get a decent nights rest." Arthur said, taking control of the situation so that he did not need to feel humiliated any longer. You smiled at him and nodded.
"Yeah I guess you're right, sleeping against a wall wasn't exactly the most sleep inducing experience." you said, earning a slight soft chuckle from the Brit.
"Sh-Shall you be taking the bed tonight?" he offered.
"Only if you want me to." you said, not wanting him to feel forced to sleep on the couch.
"I will be quite fine on the sofa tonight." he said. You gave him a half smile and lazily got off the couch, strolling over to the bed with your hoodie in hand while Arthur made his way over to the lantern by his desk, blowing the candle light out gently before moving on to the one by the door. By the time the room was completely dark you had already crawled under the covers and had gotten situated. Though for some reason you felt awkward sleeping on his bed. You saw his silhouette move across the room swiftly, removing his coat before sitting down on the couch, removing his boots and finally laying back down. The room was quiet and you didn't feel the least bit tired, you felt too strange to be tired. Little did you know that Arthur's feelings were mutual. You rolled over on your back and looked up at the ceiling, listening to the ship creak and groan as it rocked back and forth gently.
"Hey Arthur?" you asked, breaking the silence in the room. You heard him shifting on the couch as he tilted his head in your direction.
"Yes love?" he asked, a bit of hope in his voice.
"Now that you've captured Cruz…what are you going to do now?" you asked. Arthur was silent for a while, trying to come up with an answer to your question. Just when you thought you could take his silence no longer…
"I'm not quite sure love. I've been so focused on finding him that I never really thought about what I'd do once I caught him…I suppose I always expected to die fighting him." he said. It made your heart lurch with the last bit of his sentence.
'He expected to die? That's horrible!' you thought, genuinely disturbed by the thought.
"Oh…." you said, unsure of what else to say.
"And what of you?" he asked. You tilted your head up to look at him, noticing that he was now looking up at the ceiling.
"What will you do once…once you r-return home?" he asked, sadness filling his voice as he uttered the last words of his sentence. You sighed and bit your bottom lip in thought, leaning your head back on the pillow.
"Not sure." you said, causing another bout of silence to fill the air. You heard Arthur mumble something under his breath quietly.
"What?" you asked, hoping he would repeat what he had said a little louder. Arthur shook his head.
"N-Nothing…good night." he said before rolling over on his side, his back facing you. You pulled the covers to your chin and closed your eyes.
"Good night Arthur." you said quietly.
Neither of you spoke another word that night.
The last few days of your time aboard the ship seemed to fly by, much to your dismay. For some reason you actually found yourself wishing that time would slow down so you could enjoy your last precious pieces of time aboard the ship and with the crew. You had noticed, at least you thought this was true, that Arthur seemed to be slightly clingy toward you. It wasn't terrible noticeable, but you did notice that he was around you more then usual. On the morning of the last day you awoke before the sun rose above the water. You had felt such anxiety and remorse that your sleep was broken up and choppy. Unable to fall back asleep you decided to get up and enjoy every last waking moment aboard this ship. Because you knew that you would never see this place again and most likely, any of the people you knew here. Because by the time you got back to your regular time everybody here would have been dead for about three hundred years or so. That thought caused a lump in your throat and a wetness to your eyes. You didn't want to think of any of your new friends as being dead, that seemed mortifying. You tried picturing Peter as an old man, lying in his bed as he took his last few breaths of air before his life slipped away from him. That thought alone made you sit up straight in bed and cover your mouth in horror.
'Don't think like that (Name) you idiot!' you scolded yourself. Unable to come to grips with that sad and very true reality. The fact of the matter was, even though Peter was younger then you now, technically he was much older then you. And Arthur…
You stopped yourself from thinking these disturbing thoughts any longer. Swinging your legs over the side of the bed you stood up slowly, placing a hand on your shoulder and stretching your neck. You looked over to the sofa to find Arthur still asleep, now lying on his back and looking peaceful in his slumber. You removed your hand from your neck and wrapped both arms around yourself, slowly and quietly approaching Arthur's sleeping form. You stopped short a few feet from him, almost afraid to come any closer. You stood there and watched as his stomach rose and fell gently with each soft breath of air that he took.
'He looks so relaxed now.' you thought, noticing a change in his face. As if he was finally at peace in his life. You could only imagine what it was like for him. Growing up the rest of his teen years missing, not one, but both parents. Having to be eldest brother and father to Peter, most likely knowing that he would never be able to fill both roles at the same time. Having to grow up too quickly, never really being able to enjoy his last few years of being a child. As these thoughts came flooding into your mind you felt something cold slide down your cheek. When you brought a hand to it you realized that you were crying. Actually shedding tears for Arthur and his hardships. You slowly backed away from him, knowing that you were already becoming too attached to him.
'How could I let this happen?' you wondered as you quickly left the room, leaving Arthur to continue his rest.
You shivered a bit as a stiff breeze blew past you, tossing your hair about in the wind. Though the tears were still there you felt a tad better just by not being in the same room as the person you were really starting to care about.
'How could I let this happen?….How could I let myself get so…attached?' you thought, scolding yourself for your foolishness. But somehow, deep inside of you, you know that was an impossibility. Then again, you were never meant to spend more than a day here had it happened the right way. You were hoping that this last day would be filled with happiness but now, judging by the way it had already began, it was going to be one of the saddest days of your life.
Your morning work had been slow and solemn, even though everyone else around you had an extra pep in their step. You tried to hide your agony as best as you could but that proved difficult in itself.
"Lass? Ye alright?" Ian asked, noticing that you looked depressed as you mopped. You looked up at him and quickly put a smile on your face.
"Yeah! Just a little tired from yesterday. That's all…" you said, giving him your best happy face. He gave you a half smile and patted you on the shoulder.
"Don' worry lass. That's all behind ye now!" he said, smiling at you with a bright radiance in his face. You nodded at him sadly, but with a smile still on your lips.
"Yeah…your right…thanks Ian." you said.
'I'll miss you so much.' you thought to yourself as he removed his hand from you.
"Anythin' fer the wee lass. Oh! And if ye get a chance…be sure to snap Hector with that rag o' yer's." he said, giving you a wink and a mischievous smile.. You let out a laugh as he went back to his work.
'I don't think I'll have a chance to Ian…sorry.'
Breakfast was not any better. Though Arthur had requested that you eat with him and Francis. You accepted but the conversations were small and an awkward air was around the three of you. Francis would try repeatedly to say something to break the tension but nothing seemed to work. You just couldn't manage to look at Arthur. He on the other hand couldn't kept his eye off of you. Almost as if he were afraid if he looked away that you would disappear. Francis noticed the tension between the two of you but decided to remain quiet.
And so the rest of the day was filled with more sadness on your part and awkward encounters with the Captain. Every time you turned around you saw him looking at you with an intense stare. It was starting to make you feel weird.
'What's he doing?' you wondered as you wiped down the banister on the starboard side.
'He's been staring at me like that all day…' your thoughts were interrupted by Peter bounding toward you and calling your name.
"Miss (Name)! miss (Name)!" he said, skidding to a halt behind you. You stopped what you were doing and turned to him.
"What is it Peter?" you asked, noticing the distraught look on the boy's face.
"Those mean wankers are being mean to me again!" he said, pointing to a grounp of pirates who were snickering and pointing in Peter's direction. You narrowed your eyes at them and began to twist your towel in a threatening manner. The smirks on their faces quickly disappeared as they turned around and got back to you. You smirked to yourself and looked at Peter.
"Don't you worry about them. Just threaten them with this and you'll be fine." you said, showing Peter the damp rag in your hand. He pouted a bit.
"But I don't know how to do that…" he said. Suddenly a light bulb appeared over his head.
"Will you show me how to do that tomorrow?" Peter asked, clenching his fists in excitement. You felt sick to your stomach at his words, he looked so excited for you to show him. Little did he know you would only be remaining for a few more hours. You forced a smile on your face, which was a difficult feat.
"Sure…tomorrow." you said, trying to sound excited instead of wanting to breakdown and start crying in front of the boy.
"Great! Now I have something to look forward to!" he said before skipping off. You took in a shaky breath and covered your mouth.
'It hurts…it hurts so much.' you thought in misery. A voice from behind you interrupted your thoughts.
"Mon cher? Are you alright?" Francis asked, looking at you in worry. You turned around quickly and feigned a smile.
"I'm fine! Why do you ask?" you said, trying to act casual. Be clicked his tongue at you a bit, holding his hands behind his back.
"You 'ave been moping all day mon cher. Why do you look so sad?" he asked, giving you a look that indicated he was genuinely concerned about you. You looked down and began to wipe the banister again.
"I told you I'm-"
"-would zis 'ave anything to do wiz ze captain?" he asked slowly as he leaned a bit closer to you. You looked at him in shock and quickly scoffed.
'As if!" you said, scrubbing the banister with more vigor then before. Francis chuckled a bit as he placed a hand over your over working one, halting it from rubbing a dent into the wood.
"Then why do you become so flustered when I mention 'im?" he asked quietly. You sighed slowly and looked up at him, a slightly annoyed look on your face.
"Don't even go there lover boy." you said in a threatening tone. Francis chuckled as he removed his hand from yours, taking a step back from you.
"As you wish." he said before waltzing off somewhere. Probably to annoy Arthur. You shook your head and went back to work. Somehow…Francis' words would not leave your mind. Why did you become so flustered? This thought never left your mind for the entire day.
All too soon night fall came and so your time here too came to a close. To your surprise you didn't feel sad at this moment as you sat at the table with your usual group, eating dinner and laughing about this and that. To your surprise you felt a strange calm set in you. You even felt happy. Though someone across the room was not so happy.
'She can't leave…she…she just can't.' Arthur thought to himself, not even touching the meal set before him. He was too overcome with his thoughts to even think about eating. Not to mention he did not have much of an appetite to begin with. He had kept an eye on you all day for he knew you would be leaving sometime today. Though he was not sure exactly how this would be accomplished he couldn't stop himself from keeping a close eye on you. Afraid that if he did you would be gone without him being able to say good bye or to tell you something that he had wanted to tell you a few night's before…
He sighed sadly, beating himself up over not having the guts to tell you his affections toward you. It couldn't be that hard, could it? It didn't have to be elaborate and poetic like Francis made it. It could just be simple, much like Arthur. Just three little words. Why was it so hard?
"You can eye her all you want Arthur." Francis said, jolting the Brit from his engrossed thoughts.
"But unless you speak to 'er it's not going to do you much good." he said, taking a sip of his drink with a air of elegance. Arthur, for once, did not retaliate with harsh words to Francis' statement. He simply looked down at his bowl and spooned around his food a bit.
"You make it sound so easy." he muttered quietly under his breath. Francis leaned forward, resting his elbows on the table.
What waz zat?" he asked, giving Arthur a cheeky look. Arthur looked up quickly, a blush spreading across his face.
"I-I said nothing!" he said before quickly shoving a spoonful of food into his mouth to cease the conversation. He looked down in embarrassment as Francis laughed at him.
'He's right…..I should just….talk to her.'
Dinner had ended long ago and you decided to make one final call to Alfred before you left. You stood at the very back of the ship and dialed his number. It didn't matter if someone saw you or not. You would be gone soon so what difference did it make? As you held the phone to your ear you couldn't help but feel almost sad for leaving. You were surprised to hear the line ring and ring. Finally you heard his voice.
"Hey! This is Alfred!" he said.
"Hey Al its me, sorry it-"
"The hero is busy right now but leave me a message and I'll get back to you later!"
"Voice mail." you muttered to yourself before you waited to hear the beep, signaling you to leave a message.
"Hey Al its me. Sorry it took me so long to call you back…its been kind of crazy since I called you last. Well tonight's the full moon so I'll be seeing you shortly…hope your there when I come home. Miss you and I'll see you soon…Bye." with that you hung up and let your arm drop. You bit your bottom lip and sighed heavily.
'This is it (Name)…tonight's the night' you thought sadly to yourself. A month ago you would have given anything to go back home, eagerness to return was so strong you craved it. Funny how one's feelings can change so dramatically. You still wanted to return home, make no mistake about that. But you also felt a part of you wanting to stay, as if a part of you was now connected to this place. But you knew staying was not an option, no matter how much you may have wanted it. Saying was not an option. You didn't belong here and you knew that. But you still kept wondering…
'Have I found a piece of myself here?'
No. You shook your head of that thought, not even allowing that idea to be planted into your mind or heart.
"Well I guess this is it." you said to yourself, gazing up at the round ivory moon as it gazed back at you. Making your face glow with a certain distinction. Finally allowing you to go home.
You couldn't believe it. You were finally going home! But….you weren't as happy as you thought you'd be.
'You can't stay here (name)! You have to leave! You've caused enough trouble here already.' you scolded yourself. You took in a deep breath and exhaled slowly, releasing your fingers from the tight grip you hadn't realized you had. You looked down at your left wrist, slowly pulling up your red hoodie sleeve to reveal your long awaited return. It glinted in the light of the moon, almost beaconing you to it. You hesitated for a moment. But you took in a deep breath and shook your head, looking down.
"This is harder then I thought it would be." you whispered, closing your eyes. You were ashamed at how difficult this was. Alfred's words kept ringing in your ears.
'Don't get too close to anyone.'
Oh how you wished you had listened to him. Oh how you wished it would have been easy to not get too attached to the crew. To Ian and Peter and Arthur…
At the mere thought of Arthur a shiver went up your spine. You knew you would miss him the most. And you hated that.
"(Name)?" a gentle voice said, jolting you out of thought. You opened your eyes and slowly turned around to meet the voice. Though you didn't need to see the person to know who it was. There, standing before you was none other then the one man that was making this so hard for you. You stared at his emerald eyes for a moment. The moon light made his face glow and his eyes twinkle. It made your heart flutter a bit. Though you pushed these emotions back. You couldn't let them interfere with what you had to do.
"Hi." you said with a smile. He didn't smile back, instead he looked up at the lunar orb above the two of you. You swore you saw a flash of despair cross his eyes.
"Is it….is it that time already?" he asked in a solemn voice. It made your heart flinch a bit. The sadness in his voice…it made you unable to move. You mustered up all the strength you could to answer him.
"Yeah….it it." you said, sounding more depressed then you wanted to. Arthur felt the sadness in your voice and turned to face you. He looked at you and you in turn looked at him. Green emeralds piercing through your now vulnerable (e/c) ones. It made you freeze in place. You both stayed like that for a moment, the only sound that could be heard was the sound of the ocean lapping up against the side of the ship. Then he slowly started making his way toward you. He looked as if he were approaching a fawn that might flee if he approached too quickly. His black leather boots thumping across the deck as he came closer. Each step he took made your heart jump a bit.
"You know (name)" he said carefully, holding his hands behind his back as he stood in front of you.
"If you don't want to leave…you don't have to." he said, eyeing you with a hopeful gaze. You sighed sadly and looked the other way, unable to look him in the eye.
"Yes….I do." you said quietly, closing your eyes. You opened them quickly when you felt his warm hand take your chin and turn it toward his face, making you once again meet his intruding eyes.
"You could stay here. You'd be taken care of and-" he started to say but you cut him off by removing his hand from your face and taking his in your own hand. Holding it with a gentle grip.
"I can't stay here Arthur……you know that." you said. His expression changed to desperation now.
"Why?" he whispered, taking both of your hands and gripping them in a slightly tight manner.
"Why can't you stay?" he asked in a louder voice. You could hear the desperation in his voice. Though the possibilities of why it was there scared you. You closed your eyes and looked down, not meeting his gaze.
"I have to go back. I have family and friends that are waiting for me and I-" you started to say but stopped when he took your chin in his hand, making you look at him again.
"Stay." he whispered, furrowing his brows in sadness. The look in his eyes made your heart lurch. You shook your head quickly and backed away from him, leaving his hand in mid-air.
"I can't stay. I have to go back." you said as seriously as you could. Fighting your urge to get emotional with this, which was extremely difficult for you at this point. Arthur let his arm drop to his side, lowering his head until his eyes were no longer visible.
"I see." was all he said. You bit your bottom lip and turned your back to him, facing the moon. You had to do this quickly. Otherwise you'd be stuck here for another month. But you didn't want to leave on such a sad note. Slowly, you turned back around and faced Arthur with a smile on your face.
"I suppose… this is… good bye then." he said, only looking up to meet your gaze. He didn't know why you were smiling. Were you happy to be leaving? You rushed forward and embraced him in a hug, wrapping your arms tightly around his body. Arthur returned the gesture, wrapping his arms around your delicate frame. His embrace was very tight, almost like he didn't want to let go. His face rested on your shoulder, taking in your scent one last time.
"I will never forget you (Name)." he whispered in your ear. You smiled and pulled back from him, resting your hand on the back of his neck while looking him in the eyes.
"Well I certainly hope not." you said, giving him a playful wink. This managed to get him to crack a very small smile. Which soon turned to confusion when you pulled away from him as you reached for your neck. You pulled on the chain of your necklace, the one your brother gave you, pulling it up and over your head. You looked at it for a moment, watching it glint in the moon light. You smiled and held it out to Arthur.
"Here. Something to remember me by." you said, giving him a genuine smile. Arthur looked at you in shock.
"B-But (Name). This was a gift from your brother." he said. You sighed but kept smiling.
"And now it is a gift from me to you." you said. But Arthur shook his head.
"No. (Name)…I can't take this." he said.
"Yes. You will." you said, taking his right hand and placing the necklace in the palm of his hand, closing his fingers around it. You held his fist with both of your hands and looked him in the eye.
"I want you to have this." you said, pain slightly evident in your voice. Truth was you didn't want to leave. You had this strong, cruel wanting to stay, yet you had another force pulling you back into the world you belonged to.
"Take good care of it." you whispered, slowly letting go of his fist. He looked at you sadly, then looking down at the necklace tightly closed in his hand he lifted it to his heart.
"I promise." he said softly.
You pulled him into one last hug, placing one of your hands gently on the back of his neck as you smiled with your eyes closed, head resting on his shoulder. He in return wrapped his arms around you for the last time. Gripping you tightly and he squeezed his eyes in sadness.
"Thanks for helping me out." you whispered as you pulled away slowly. You gently placed a hand on his face, giving him a quick but tender peck on the cheek. You chuckled softly as you pulled away and took a few steps back. Arthur could feel heat spreading across his face from where your lips had been.
"You take care of yourself now." you said as you pushed the reactor button on your bracelet, watching as it began to glow a beautiful blue color. Arthur was mesmerized by the gentle light. It was as if you had collected the stars from heaven and placed them on your wrist, decorating you with even more beauty then the night sky itself. You closed your eyes as you felt tingling sensations in your body, knowing the process was already starting. You felt a tear slide down your cheek as the soft hum of the transportation was taking place.
Arthur felt panicked when he saw flashes of blue light swirl around your body. He couldn't take it anymore Not one more moment. It was now or never. He had to tell you!
"(N-Name)! Wait!" he called out, reaching toward you with an outstretched arm. You lifted your head and met his gaze for what you felt would be the last time. Arthur looked sad, scared and shocked at the same time. Your body was already starting to disappear. You gave him a gentle smile to remember you by.
"(Name). I just wanted you to know that I……I-"
But he never got to finish his sentence because the swirling blue lights picked up tremendous speed, encasing you in a bright light. Then there was a flash of soft light. And then there was nothing. Darkness of the night replaced where you had once stood…you were gone.
Arthur stood there. Dumbfounded and not quite believing what he had just witnessed as a cool breeze brushed past his face, tossing his hair around in the wind. He couldn't help but stare at the empty space of where you once stood. Gracing him with your presence. He let his arm slowly drop to his side in despair. His once lively green eyes now murky with sadness and despair. A single stray tear slid down his face ever so slowly as he finally found the breath to whisper the words he had been so desperate to tell you a moment ago.
"I love you."